Back to Alabama: Why did we go there? Family? Nope. A desire for the country life? Nope. Wanting to subject ourselves to humidity? Nope. Cracker Barrel? Nope. Ok ok, I'll tell you. We went on pilgrimage to Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. You know the monastery that Mother Angelica built, you know the little cloister nun that started EWTN. Yeah that's the one! In all honesty my dear reader even knowing that this place existed did not give us a desire to go there. We have friends who have gone several times and we were always like "what is in Alabama? I'd rather go to Europe or something. This doesn't sound like much of a pilgrimage." When the organizers first asked us we declined, then they asked us again because our friends who would be newly married would be going and wanted someone to share the car and house we rented. Originally we thought that we would be taking a road trip there, which is why we said yes in the first place, haha we were wrong we took a plane but it was still fun. So God roped us into going and I am glad He did!
First off Los Angeles sucks in terms of hospitality, we all know it. We are not big on having a sense of community here in L.A. and people don't really talk to each other on the street but Alabama now that is a whole different story. The people were so welcoming and nice as well as genuine. On top of all that people are not afraid to talk about Jesus or wear their Christian apparel, it is part of the Bible Belt ya know.
We were there for a week and we spent most of our time at the Shrine. It was like a pilgrimage/retreat/vacation all rolled into one. I got in a lot of prayer time and God really spoke to me there. I went to AL w? a lot of questions for God; What are you doing with my life? What do you want? What are our next steps regarding children? Where are you taking me? Will JJ ever work again? Should we move out of L.A. to find JJ work? What is the meaning of life? The last one is a joke, obviously.
He did not give me answers pursee but He did give me peace and healing. The best part of AL was JJ and I were not "the IF couple" there. We were just us, a married couple on pilgrimage with 36 other pilgrims. It was such a wonderful feeling to forget about our IF even for a little while, more on that to come in a later post. The Mass is so beautiful and reverent there, the cloistered sisters sing at 7am Mass everyday. Everything there is centered on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and it. is. beautiful. Go to the link above and look at some of the pictures. They have the 2nd largest monstrance in the world, almost 8ft. tall! If y'all ever have the chance to go there you must, we plan on going back.
There are a lot of topics percolating in my brain from our trip and as a result of the blogging fast some deal with IF and some do not. We have made some decisions regarding our TTC journey which I will share later. Oh yeah, I fixed the comments so that you don't have to do the word verification. I know that it can be annoying so I will try it but if I get a lot of spam I will go back to making you prove you are not a robot or spammer. For now here are some pictures from our trip!
|The outside of the main Church.|
|Look at that blue sky! This is also their conference area and gift shop. It's a castle!|
|Love the clouds in JJ's glasses.|
|The gorgeous house we stayed at!|
|Me outside in the courtyard.|
|My favorite pic taken on our last day there. It was cool and windy!|